What is YOUR Mission? 3 Ways to Nail it Down

by Kelly K. O'Neil

The fact that you're reading this post (or are a subscriber to my newsletter) tells me one thing: Even if you aren't actively working toward it, there's at least that (very, very important) seed in your mind, telling you that YOUR mission/vision/dream is achievable. It just might take some work to get there. And one of the first steps toward reaching toward your dreams is making sure you have a clear vision and mission. You'll use these to craft your mission statement, which will speak for your company's goals, values and beliefs for years to come (with occasional tweaking to make sure you're remaining current, of course).

Whether you've already worked with me to develop your mission and adore it or you've been putting off doing it for the last few years because it seemed overwhelming ... I don't care if you're running at full speed, chasing after your dreams or if you're plodding along hoping your dreams find you. It's critical to have a clearly defined mission ... and critical to revisit even the most seemingly flawless one once a year or so.

So, do this for me: Pencil in one hour in the coming week to work through the following three steps. If you already have a mission, cross check your work with your existing mission and make the appropriate changes. If you are currently unclear on your mission, use your responses as a springboard to creating one.

Make a list. Write down all the things that are most important to you in your business and what you want it to do -- tomorrow and in the future. Include your values, your goals, your hopes, your dreams ... don't edit yourself -- write it all down

Take that list and circle the top 5-10 words or phrases that identify your company and your service or product. Be sure that you're choosing words and phrases that both identify both what you wish to accomplish and contribute and who you want to be (the character strengths and qualities you wish your business to convey). You can even ask team members, family or friends who know your business well to do this exercise for you -- it can never hurt to have additional insight.

If you don't currently have a clear mission: Try incorporating as many of those words into an inspirational action statement -- whether it's a sentence or a paragraph it doesn't matter. This will take a few passes until you find one you love. Then, run it by friends, family, team members or trusted clients to see if they think it accurately communicates your business and its goals. Even if you never go further to create a "formal" mission statement, this exercise will help you identify your mission and ensure you're working toward the right direction. You can use it to model your current and future marketing and sales efforts, identify future products, and so much more.

If you do currently have a mission statement (or even just a very clear mission, take the statement you just created and revisit your existing mission. Does this new statement align with your existing mission, dreams and goals? If so, great job! You're still on track. If not? Then it's time to rewrite your mission statement.

Unless you are one of the lucky few who already has a perfect mission statement, it's time to write (or rewrite) your existing, formal mission statement. This will provide motivation for you and for team members and serve as a strong marketing and branding tool for your customers. Feeling overwhelmed? Surf the Web and identify mission statements you love. They don't have to be long to hit the mark immediately (but they can be longer if you need them to be). Some of my favorite short ones:

- Disney: "To make people happy."

- Boeing: "To push the leading edge of aviation, taking huge challenges doing what others cannot do."

- 3M: "To solve unsolved problems innovatively."

- Kelly O'Neil International - To help conscious entrepreneurs become extraordinary."

As you can see, these are timeless, transparent and clear. What are your favorite mission statements? Did you do this exercise? Swing by my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/kellyoneilfan and share your favorite statements ... and personal experience with this exercise.

© 2012 Kelly O'Neil International.

Kelly O'Neil, Founder and CEO of Kelly O'Neil International, best-selling author and award winning brand marketing strategist, is one of the most sought-after brand marketing and results coaches for conscious entrepreneurs and aspiring women leaders. Kelly is the inspirational driving force behind a rapidly expanding business empire that includes Ignite Business Coaching™, Millionaire Prodigy Club™, The Women's Leadership Academy™ and The Excellence Society™. She is committed to helping entrepreneurs find their authentic voice, design strategies and brand platforms to share their unique message and strategically build profitable businesses. For free resources, training materials and to sign up to receive a free CD "7 Simple Success Practices of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs," as well as Kelly's Arrive Ezine, visit http://www.kellyoneil.com.


Kristen at Me and My Three said...

Thanks for the post! I came up with a few initial mission statements, but I found that I needed to take some time away to clear my mind - that always helps me to generate new ideas!

Deb Bailey said...

I'm glad that the post was helpful! It certainly gives business owners something to think about. Thanks for your comments!

Jenny Good said...

Great post. As I tell my clients, you have to know who you are to know who you serve.

As for me, my business mission statement is: To help modern women entrepreneurs differentiate themselves and run wildly successful businesses.

Deb Bailey said...

Thanks for sharing your mission statement, Jenny. Love it! Thanks for your comments.

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